E61 backflushed w/ Biocaf, now an off taste

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beanman
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#1: Post by beanman »

I've had my ECM Synchronika for about a month, and just over 100 shots thru it. This is my first E61 -- my previous machine was a La Spaziale Vivaldi II.
I decided its time to backflush the E61 group with Urnex Biocaf Espresso Machine Cleaner
But now my shots have an off taste, and I'm guessing from residual Biocaf. I've probably pulled 15 shots, and its still there, but not as bad.

After a backflush, do the brew lever, mushroom and lower valve assemblies need to be removed and rinsed to get all the Urnex cleaner out of the E61 cavities?

What I did:
Backflush disk into portafilter, and added one scoop of Biocaf with the Pallo Coffeetool Three in One Group Brush scoop
Installed prortafilter. Pump on for 10 seconds, then off for 10 seconds -- repeated 5 times
Removed portafilter, rinsed it, then installed and did the pump on 10 seconds/off 10 seconds, 5 times
Ran 3 shots and discarded them to help clean out the system.
Ran about 10 shots over a few days, and they have a slight chemical taste.
Last nite I removed the shower screen and water diffuser, and cleaned the screen, gasket, diffuser, and bottom side of the group.
Shots today are a bit better, but the off taste is still there.

On my La Spaziale I used normal Cafiza - 5 cycles then 5 rinse cycles, threw away 1 shot, and was good. But its a saturated group head, so maybe the clean water backflushes gets it rinsed out good.

Thanks for the help.

kelly1

#2: Post by kelly1 »

I have had the same experience on two e61 machines,so I run a few tanks of water through after cleaning,that helps then some cheap coffee just to condition/flush anymore residual taste,kelly

mreloc
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#3: Post by mreloc »

You waited a month/100 shots before backflushing? That's waaaay too long imho. You've probably still got residual oils/cleaner in there. When I backflush with cleaner I start by removing the screen/screw and soak them separately. I do the cycles until the solution exiting the machine is barely sudsy (like 20 times). Then, I backflush with pure water a few times, then freely let water run through the machine 30 seconds or so.

Why did you switch away from the gold standard Cafiza?

BodieZoffa

#4: Post by BodieZoffa replying to mreloc »

I do a water backflush daily and detergent every 2 weeks at the rate of 6 doubles daily on average. Never seen a realistic need to do more often as the water backflush definitely helps keep things fairly clean.

I used the 'gold standard' Cafiza for years until I tried PulyCaff and won't bother with Cafiza or any other from here on out.

sluflyer06

#5: Post by sluflyer06 »

mreloc wrote:You waited a month/100 shots before backflushing? That's waaaay too long imho. You've probably still got residual oils/cleaner in there. When I backflush with cleaner I start by removing the screen/screw and soak them separately. I do the cycles until the solution exiting the machine is barely sudsy (like 20 times). Then, I backflush with pure water a few times, then freely let water run through the machine 30 seconds or so.

Why did you switch away from the gold standard Cafiza?
To their credit, e61s should not be back flushed often with detergent.

That said i use Puro Caff, it's what la marzocco ships with their machines. 1x 20oz container is good for 8 years easily and that's with frequent cleaning

beanman (original poster)
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#6: Post by beanman (original poster) »

The ECM Synchronika manual recommends a chemical backflush every 90-140 shots, so I was at the early side of the range, and decided to do it, then set the PID clean reminder.
I do a water backflush (one cycle) after every 3-4 shots, as recommended by some members here.
I bought Biocaf because I've read several posts here that its better for the gaskets, etc than Cafiza.
Today, I ran about 20 oz of water thru the group with the machine at operating temp.
And I'll do it again tomorrow. Hope that will get it rinsed out good.
I'll pick up some Puly Caff (edited - not Puro Caff) before my next chemical backflush and see how that works.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

PuroCaf and Cafiza are both Urnex brands and, from the MSDS appear to be the same thing, or at least very close

https://urnex.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/20/
https://urnex.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1518/

Sodium percarbonate 10 - 30%
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate 0.5 - 1.5%
Alcohols, C9-11, ethoxylated 0.5 - 1.5%
Sodium hydroxide 0.1 - 1%

BioCaf is also an Urnex product

https://urnex.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/59/

Disodium carbonate 15 - 40%
Sodium percarbonate 10 - 30%
Sodium lauryl sulphate 0.5 - 1.5%

(Note that formulations of various products may be different in different markets.)

I'm not an expert on cleaning products, but to my eye, they all look equally nasty.

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compou ... %20antacid.

Sodium Carbonate is the disodium salt of carbonic acid with alkalinizing property. When dissolved in water, sodium carbonate forms carbonic acid and sodium hydroxide. As a strong base, sodium hydroxide neutralizes gastric acid thereby acting as an antacid.

(aka "washing soda" or "soda ash")

All should rinse out cleanly. When I was using them in an E61-style group, I would run "brew" for a while to flush out the forward path.

Puly Caff is different than the Urnex products, from https://www.mokaconsorten.com/wp-conten ... 150403.pdf

Sodium carbonate 5-15%
Sodium percarbonate 5-15%
Sodium alkyl sulphate <5%

DeGaulle

#8: Post by DeGaulle »

From your description, your backflush procedure and frequency seems to be fairly thorough already, just a few tips that might help to finetune:
1) remove the shower screen and diffuser for a clean-up say once a week;
2) When you run the detergent backflush, on the first 3 to 4 cycles pause for about 30-40 seconds between cycles to allow the cleaner do its job (courtesy of DaveC's youtube channel).
3) When repeating the backflush with plain water to get rid of the Cafiza, after each cycle take the PF out and dump its contents, else you may be just moving residual Cafiza around inside the group.

Just my 0.02.
Bert

DJF

#9: Post by DJF »

BodieZoffa wrote:I do a water backflush daily and detergent every 2 weeks at the rate of 6 doubles daily on average. Never seen a realistic need to do more often as the water backflush definitely helps keep things fairly clean.

I used the 'gold standard' Cafiza for years until I tried PulyCaff and won't bother with Cafiza or any other from here on out.
Same here. I only ever use Pulycaff on any of my machines. I find its the easiest to eliminate cleaner after taste.
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

BodieZoffa

#10: Post by BodieZoffa replying to DJF »

Besides that I also like how much it foams up for a nice scrubbing action as well as dissolving instantly. No need to stir and never any chunks left behind as I've had to happen with other brands.